Thursday, January 19, 2006

Words are funny

First, there's nothing new from Alastair. It's winter, and he's warm. Would you go outside naked in winter if you didn't have to?

Anyway, I love language. I am a pedant, a grammarian, and I am terribly annoying about it. One of the more curious aspects of the English language is our vast collection of nouns to describe disparate multitudes. I was researching an antiquated word today and came across an amusing list of nouns of multitude:

bevy, a company of roe deer, larks, or quail
cast, the number of hawks or falcons cast off at one time, usually a pair
cete, a company of badgers
covert, a flock of coots
covey, a family of grouse, partridges, or other game birds
drift, a drove or herd, especially of hogs
exaltation, a flight of larks
fall, a family of woodcock in flight
flight, a flock of birds in flight
gaggle, a flock of geese
gam, a school of whales, or a social congregation of whalers, especially at sea
kennel, a number of hounds or dogs housed in one place or under the same ownership
kindle, a brood or litter, especially of kittens
litter, the total number of offspring produced at a single birth by a multiparous mammal
murder, a flock of crows
muster, a flock of peacocks
nide, a brood of pheasants
pod, a small herd of seals or whales
pride, a company of lions
rout, a company of people or animals in movement, especially knights or wolves
school, a congregation of fish, or aquatic mammals such as dolphins or porpoises
shrewdness, a company of apes
skein, a flight of wildfowl, especially geese
skulk, a congregation of vermin, especially foxes, or of thieves
sloth, a company of bears
sord, a flight of mallards
sounder, a herd of wild boar
stable, a number of horses housed in one place or under the same ownership
swarm, a colony of insects, such as ants, bees, or wasps, especially when migrating to a new nest or hive
troop, a number of animals, birds, or people, especially when on the move
warren, the inhabitants, such as rabbits, of a warren
watch, a flock of nightingales
wisp, a flock of birds, especially of snipe

Sadly, I need to get on a conference call with a shrewdness.

For a good time, go here: Wow.

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